German LNG Terminal to Offer Refuelling
German utility Uniper and Dutch engineers Titan LNG are to co-operate in expanding the functionality of the planned LNG terminal Wilhelmshaven to include vessel and truck refuelling, they said January 17. They said it was in response to stricter rules on sulphur emissions.
The companies said they want to develop a user-friendly technical interface and commercial products for so-called small-scale LNG customers from the Wilhelmshaven-designed floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) for LNG. In Wilhelmshaven, the loading of small LNG sea and inland vessels will be possible. In addition, several truck loading ramps are provided to allow the onward transport of LNG on the road.
Trucks will deliver LNG from Wilhelmshaven to the growing number of LNG filling stations being built in Germany, which will help reduce the harmful particulate emissions as well as CO2 and nitrogen and sulfur oxide that diesel produces. The German government supports logistics companies with subsidies and the free use of German roads for trucks running on LNG, they said.
Wilhelmshaven is an ideal location to supply LNG for all downstream markets and in particular the market for marine fuels, they said: "The market for so-called small-scale LNG is gaining in importance thanks to its proven economic benefits. As a fuel, LNG already meets the stricter environmental regulations for maritime shipping today." The tougher limits on sulphur in bunkering fuels take effect in just under a year's time: January 1, 2020.
Uniper said Titan LNG has a great deal of know-how in small-scale LNG and designing attractive products for customers in this segment. "With Wilhelmshaven we offer a first-class location for the supply of the shipping and road fuel market with LNG.This co-operation enables the FSRU Wilhelmshaven project to make an important contribution to reducing CO2 and pollutant emissions."
Uniper's facility will have a throughput capacity of 10bn m³/yr and a storage capacity of more than 263,000 m³. The plant is scheduled to go into operation in the second half of 2022. It is close to the onshore pipeline network and storage facilities once the LNG has been vaporised.
In December 2018, Uniper signed a letter of intent with Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Line (MOL). MOL will own, finance and operate the FSRU. Uniper is co-ordinating the permits for operating the facility with the relevant authorities.
A number of shipbuilders have been converting vessels to run on LNG for ferry and container ship operators, as well as working on newbuilds. LNG occupies more space than the equivalent amount of fuel oil, in energy terms, which is a drawback.